The panelists agreed that short-term and long-term targets were critical to future-proof buildings. Every aspect of any building will need to be designed for the long-term with flexibility in mind. To keep carbon footprints down, products like solar panels and home lifts will need to rely on local supply chains and we will need look to the creative industries to come up with new innovations to support a very different, low-carbon future.
In an age of urban densification, even cities in cool climates like Stockholm will need to accelerate greening to combat over-heating. Individual homes will need to generate and save their own energy and new systems will need be designed to manage water and electricity effortlessly.
Beata Wickbom asked the panelists how the built environment will have changed in 25 years’ time. The panel envisioned a future with clustered, localized communities that don’t rely on centralized services and that share physical and virtual resources. Energy will hopefully be abundant, low-cost and fossil-free, and more food will be grown in cities. Innovation will focus increasingly on circularity and upcycling, storing energy and recycling clean water. Technology will increasingly look to nature for design solutions, signaling a rise in the embryonic trend of biomimicry.